Act II – A Public Option and Pharma Regulation
A Public Option, the lost battle for better cost control, while winning concessions for the broader uninsured public, is worth resurrecting. The time, 2 years after launch, is ripe. There is still more good work to do.
The PPACA has a track record that’s successful when examined using empirical macro data. On the one hand, insured enrollees are up, coverage cost growth is slowed and improved access to preventive care – an investment in a healthier tomorrow – is available to more students, new families and young workers. While we know it’s working for millions, there is, on the other hand, room for improvement.
The cost of Health Insurance for some, went from nothing and scant coverage, to a mandatory something and some well patient care. Regardless of the fact that many were going rogue, they are now paying something, where they were paying little or nothing before. For those making too much to be subsidized, the PPACA isn’t what they wanted, or like living with.
A Public Option offering more coverage than their current high deductible plan, at the same price, would be a win. Expanding Medicare to fill the gap for these individuals would be a way to introduce a fledgling Public Option, without reversing the rotation of the planet or exposing too much to lobby fueled Republican attacks. So, there’s one opportunity for the next President and Congress, the composition of which is currently in the process of being resolved.
Another target for cost improvement is a Federal Pharma purchasing plan. There is too much being spent on ads that pump up demand for false hope relief and vanity snake oil, instead of making investments in improving productivity, streamlining distribution of essential medicine and rolling out proactive prevention programs. Research subsidies need to be prioritized to focus on Public benefit and restructured Patent regulations need to strip the shield of anti-competitive exclusivity Pharmaceuticals currently enjoy, to restore balanced, uninduced demand by limiting Pharmaceutical ads in both frequency and inflated promises.